When is too much cardio too much?

We all know that cardio is good for the body – for losing weight, toning and feeling good about yourself. However, there is a point when doing too much cardio is neither good for you or beneficial.

Now when I first started exercising I did about an hour of cardio a day. I used to vary it between the elliptical trainer and the treadmill. Sure, at the start I lost weight but then nothing. It just stopped and my weight plateaued. This was very frustrating so it was at this point that I enlisted the help of a personal trainer. Looked like I was doing the wrong thing – too much cardio and no weight training. My body was too used to the exercise that I was doing that I was no longer seeing any results. So once I started incorporating weights and cutting down my cardio, I started seeing real results such as my abs coming through, muscle definition etc.

Negative side effects of too much cardio

  • Too much cardio can be counterproductive as it can cause you to lose muscle
  • Doing excessive cardio will cause your muscles to weaken and in return your metabolism will slow down, therefore, you might actually gain weight
  • Too much cardio can cause injuries and pressure on your joints. This is very much the case if you run for a long period of time
  • Too much cardio can cause your immune system to weaken. If you are getting more sick, you maybe need to reduce your cardio intensity and time
  • If you are doing over an hour of aerobic exercise a day at the gym and you’re not a marathon runner, then maybe you are over doing it
  • Remember more is not always better

How much is the right amount of cardio?

Now this is the tough question. How much is the correct amount of cardio to do? This is going to vary person to person and will depend on individual goals, fitness levels and age. Your body will tell you when you are over doing it. For those who want to lose weight, they need to do more cardio  but diet is also very important. There is no point slaving it out at the gym if you then go home and eat cookies.

It has been recommended that adults should do 30 mins of cardio a day – whether this is at the gym, walking, running etc. I personally think you can not give one answer to how much cardio to do for everyone as it is dependent on several factors. I would suggest that those that want to lose weight, should concentrate on more cardio but also introduce weights into their workout to help tone and build muscles. Weight loss will obviously be achieved with lots of cardio but then you will reach a plateau at which point you need to mix up your workouts.

Now, for me personally, I use cardio in a different way, a way that suits me, as I have finally reached my goal weight. I do 15-20 mins cardio warm up before my weights session on a daily basis. Weights form most of my workout and have to say I am seeing it working. I had to change up my previous workout as I had reached my fitness plateau – too much cardio was not working for me. What do you think? How much cardio do you do and is it working for you?

running

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